Friday, July 29, 2022

RETURN TO WYLDER by Author Maria Imbalzano **Excerpt Tour** **Review**


Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're featuring Return to Wylder, part of the Wylder West series from The Wild Rose Press. Author Maria Imblazano is here to share some insight into her new release. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this feature.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

The untimely death of EJ Hampton’s father kills her dream of practicing law with him in her hometown of Wylder. Heartbroken, she now has two weeks to organize the practice for sale. When she meets her father’s millionaire client Dylan Addison, he is demanding and entitled—yet his charisma captivates her.

Dylan is under pressure to renovate the Wylder Hotel before his father pulls the plug on his project. He needs EJ’s expertise, but she is bent on returning to her life in San Francisco despite the fireworks between them.

EJ walks a tightrope trying to balance Dylan’s needs against her own, but doing so is far more complicated when emotions get in the way.

Find Return to Wylder at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Also available in print

EJ took a sip of her beer. “It may take some time, but you’ll win him over. If you start coming here at least once a week. Even if it’s just to have a quick drink at the bar or a sandwich at lunchtime. Get to know him, as well as the customers.” She nodded toward the bar at the few-dozen townspeople who all seemed like best friends. “You need to do this with all the businesses around town. What have you been doing for the past five months?” Her brow scrunched as she waited for my sorry excuse.

I would have grinned in an attempt to soften her underlying admonishment, but she might have then assumed I wasn’t taking her advice seriously. I cleared my throat. “I have projects in Chicago that I’ve continued to work on. When I’m in town, I’ve been dealing with contractors, getting estimates. The usual.”

“At least you’re using local tradespeople for the hotel.”

She would know that since she’d reviewed the contracts.

“Was introducing me to Chad your sole purpose in asking me to meet you here?” I had hoped it was because she was as intrigued with me as I was with her. The heat in her eyes when I stroked her palm last night couldn’t have been an illusion.

“Not my sole purpose.” Her sly smile gave me hope. “The Spring Festival is in nine days. You may have seen the signs around town.”

All hope was dashed with this turn in the conversation. I had seen the signs, but it wasn’t something I put in my calendar. Although perhaps I should, to assure I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic if I wanted to get out of town that day. “And?” There had to be more.

“The town’s budget is tight this year, and they can’t afford fireworks. That’s a big draw, so disappointment is running high. There are a few other things that need funding.” She opened her purse and withdrew a folded piece of paper. “My mom is co-chair of the event, and these are their current needs.”

I took the paper and scanned a host of sponsorship opportunities along with the estimated cost next to each. The most expensive by far was the fireworks. I searched her face. “Are you asking me for a donation? I can certainly write a check to contribute.”

“Does your father’s company support community festivities?”

Oh, so this was where she was going.

5 Stars

I'm a big fan of small town western romances, and I've especially enjoyed the variety of the Wylder series. So, when a review tour came up for Maria Imbalzano's new book, Return to Wylder, I knew I had to sign up.
  
I was immediately drawn to the heroine's dilemma of choice. I felt her sadness at her loss. The last thing she need, professionally at least, was an overbearing and entitled client. However, Dylan was such a delight right from the beginning, I couldn't even be angry with him for his privileged attitude. And, of course, the more I got to know him, the more I understood his personality.

EJ and Dylan were perfect foils for one another right from the get-go and it was very enjoyable to watch their relationship progress with just the right amount of steam thrown in for good measure.

I highly recommend this new addition to the Wylder series.

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states. Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters.



Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


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Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Nancy

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

LOVING BETWEEN THE LINES By Author Brenda Margriet

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we're featuring author Brenda Margriet and her new release, Loving Between the Lines. A contemporary, seasoned romance, this is the second book in her Silverberry Seduction series, but can be read as a standalone novel.

A one-night stand neither will forget.
She wanted a final fling before choosing science to make her a single mom. He needed an escape from the regret grinding him into dust. Her baby isn’t his…but maybe family is more than DNA.

After a childhood being dragged around the continent by her musician parents, Lynn Kolmyn has stretched her roots deep into her chosen hometown. When her absconding fiancé screws up her careful plans, she decides to become a mother at almost forty, realizing the only person she can rely on is herself.

Benjamin Whitestone was the hometown hockey hero until a spectacular mistake led to failure and condemnation. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to make it up to his parents, his teammates, or his fans. In a final bid to prove himself, he accepts a job coaching the junior team where he used to be a star, determined to rewrite history.

When Lynn and Benjamin collide—literally—they are both shocked to see the stranger from a single sensual night two years ago. Now the past tangles with the future…a future neither of them was expecting.

Purchased a copy from these eBook Retailers
Also available in print.

Benjamin Whitestone stepped into the concourse of the arena, closing the door to the Canyon Cats team offices behind him, and leaned against the red-painted brick wall. Pressing his fingertips into the rough surface, he closed his eyes and breathed deeply.

When Peterson Brewster had summoned him to his office that morning, he hadn’t been able to suppress the guilty feeling he’d done something wrong. He’d only been head coach of the Canyon Cats for two weeks, and logic dictated he had no reason to worry—yet—that his performance had been judged subpar already.

Logic never stopped him from worrying before, and it hadn’t then, either.

Turned out Brewster had just wanted to welcome him formally to the organization. He’d met the very involved owner during the hiring process but he’d been out of town since Benjamin’s return to Prince George. Now the meeting was over he could concentrate on his next challenge—his first official practice. Training camp had just ended and the roster set. The hardest work was about to begin.

Taking one last deep breath, he pushed off the wall and strode toward the stairs leading down to ice level. As he reached the door to the arena administration offices, it swung open. He dodged to avoid being struck by the heavy metal panel and a woman with her arms full of child stumbled into him.

“Careful now.” He gripped her shoulders to steady her. Two black bags draped off her shoulders and the sharp corner of one thudded against his thigh as she spun around.

“Sorry.” She shifted the baby to her other hip and gave Benjamin a quick, harried glance before focusing once more on the squirming, squawking child. He’d had little exposure to children, but given the length of the legs kicking at her thighs and the arms flailing about her head, this was no newborn. Other than that, he had no clue. “I didn’t meant to open the door so suddenly. I hope I didn’t hit you.”

That voice. Husky and low, it evoked a sudden memory of subdued lighting, sultry jazz, and smoky whiskey.

His fingers tightened on her shoulders, the bones rounded and firm under his palms. “Lynn?”

Her chin lifted and their eyes met. For a moment her expression remained blank, and then she blinked.

“Benjamin?” She twisted out of his hold and his hands dropped. He curled his fingers into fists, holding onto the tingling sensation touching her had evoked. The baby continue to wriggle and wail and she bounced and jiggled in the age-old way of mothers everywhere. “What are you doing here?”

He could only stare. He’d thought of Lynn more often than a one-night stand deserved. Especially a one-night stand that had occurred two years ago. Of course, it had also been the day after his father’s funeral. Maybe the pain of that time—and the comfort she’d given him—was why she’d stuck in his mind more than any woman he’d slept with—before or since.

She asked you a question. Answer, you dummy. “I’m the new head coach. Of the Canyon Cats.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re Benjamin Whitestone?”



Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. In her own ordinarily amazing life, she had a successful career in radio and television production before deciding to pilfer from her retirement plan to support her writing compulsion.

Readers have called her stories "poignant," "explicit and steamy," "interesting, intriguing and entertaining," and "unlike any romance you’ve read before" (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).

Brenda lives in northern British Columbia with her husband, various finny and furry pets, and has three grown children.

Sign Up for Brenda's Newsletter

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. And, thanks to Brenda for sharing her newest release with us. See you again soon!

Nancy

Monday, July 25, 2022

EMPERATOR by Author Miriam Newman **Review**


Welcome to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. Today we are featuring author Miriam Newman and her historical fantasy romance, The Emperator. You can find all stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for an Amazon gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

GENRE: Historical Fantasy Romance

Son of a king, grandson of a general, Sergius is a warrior without equal. It has been easy for him to be a hero when he was expected to be. When he finds himself fighting to free his grandfather's country and the heart of a woman, he must be one because he is.

Available at Amazon and other ebook Retailers

The walls of the city were so dark, so immense, they stood out against the moonlit sky.

“How do you get over that?” he asked the commander who had issued the order to burn bodies.

“You don’t,” that one said, flashing him a smile in the dark. Sergius could see it by the light of hundreds of torches they had lit not only for themselves, but also for the Domidians. An intimidating display suggesting great numbers of troops was a mental game.

“You burn them,” the other man said.

Heavy horses kept for the purpose had dragged up land-borne versions of the hurlers Havacians traditionally used at sea. Like those, they had been fitted with flaming balls of pitch heated over immense bonfires. Omana had no shortage of wood and scores of teams had been busily hauling it from all over territory they now occupied, to feed the fires that would burn Xanthus. Even as he watched, the first fireballs flew.

“You’ll burn down the whole city!” Sergius protested.

“Yes,” his commander admitted. “People are going to die in there.”

It was a sound battle tactic, keeping his troops from being targeted by those on the walls, but directly contravened their orders to spare Omanis. Sergius’s entire mission would be jeopardized before he even had time to begin.

“If you burn their city, they will never work with us! King Yuri’s order was to spare them, not just their sheep.”

The commander shrugged. “My orders were to keep my men alive.”

It was a complete failure of imagination. Sergius felt his temper hit the top of his skull.

Believe it and make them believe it.

“You are relieved of your command,” he said.

The other man looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “On whose authority?”

“Mine,” Sergius said. “I am Sergius Magistri, cousin to King Yuri, and you are relieved.”

The commander hesitated.

“NOW!” Sergius bellowed. He beckoned imperiously to two Havacian troopers on either side of the commander. “Take him.”

Not waiting to see if they had obeyed, he spun his horse in a deliberate move he had learned from his father, forking him with one spur, making Arrow rear. It gave better visibility.

“Omanis!” he screamed. “Follow me or your people die.”

4.0 Stars

The Emperator by author Miriam Newman is a well written historical fantasy novel. The two main characters aren’t perfect, but they are well-rounded and their development throughout the story is even and consistent.

The atmosphere suits the story very well, the battles are well thought out and add a colorful layer to the overall story. The last chapter brought everything to a satisfying conclusion. The Emperator is a highly recommended read.

Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals.


Miriam Newman will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


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Thank you for joining us today. We hope to see you again soon.

Nancy

Friday, July 22, 2022

THUMB FIRE DESIRE by Author Carol Nickles *Virtual Book Tour* *Giveaway*


Welcome to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. Today, we’ll be featuring author Carol Nickles’ new release, Thumb Fire Desire, a historical romance set in the late 1800s. You can find all of the stops on Carol’s tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Genre: Historical Romance 

From the Author

The village of Parisville, smack dab in the middle of the “thumbnail” of Michigan’s thumb-shaped peninsula was established in 1856 by Polish immigrants and is the real-life setting of my novel, Thumb Fire Desire. Parisville has not changed much. Acres and acres of land are devoted to farming. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, thrice destroyed by fire, first in 1871, then in 1881 during the Great Thumb Fire (featured in my book), and then again in 1974 still stands. The majority of surnames represent the descendants of the early Polish settlers – Guza, Pawlowski, Lemanski, Susalla and more.

Today, if you take a leisurely drive through Huron County you will see a dramatic landscape change. Wind turbines populate the countryside. They represent a tremendous growth in renewable energy. Huron County on one of Michigan’s top agricultural counties. Eighty-five percent of Huron County’s acreage is farmland. Over twelve hundred farms call Huron County home. Major crops are navy beans, sugar beets, corn, wheat, alfalfa, oats, and barley.

Since I strive to keep real-life sadness at bay, when I choose a book to entertain me, I look for one with a predictable happy ending. The romance genre guarantees that finale.

But I also love stories of adventure in the name of science and braving the wild. One of my favorite reads as a girl was Call of the North by Jack London. And the book on my nightstand that I will hate returning to the library is Wolf Island a memoir by L.David Mech. Wolf Island is set in Isle Royale, a national park island in Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. L. David Mech regales us with tales of the first years of the world-renowned prey-predator relationship study conducted on this remote island. The story has long intrigued me. I am spring boarding this interest into another historical romance, Past Preserve Us, not yet under contract.

Unlike some writers who prefer white or no noise, I seek noise. Music fills that need. I like instrumental, with no lyrics so I am transformed not by a message, but by a rhythm. Smooth jazz, lilting island music are my go-tos. My favorite is a well-worn CD featuring music indigenous to the Pacific islands of Fiji.

In the Spring of 1881, indigent seamstress Ginny Dahlke arrives in one of the earliest Polish American settlements-Parisville, Michigan. Deemed charmless and awkward by her mean-spirited sister-in-law, Ginny disparages her chance of securing love. But sought-after widowed farmer Peter Nickles is enamored by Ginny's perseverance, her pioneer spirit and, her inclusive acceptance of the indigenous peoples of Michigan. The seductiveness of a buxom heiress, a twisted story of an old-country betrothal, and the largest natural disaster in Michigan's history-The Great Thumb Fire of September 5, 1881, challenge their fledgling attraction and ultimate committal.

Find it in eBook and Print on Amazon


Peter sat atop the hay bale. Joseph’s shadow grew deeper and then faded away. For the first time, he and Ginny were alone—if he didn’t count a barn full of bawling sheep, milk cows dunking their heads in feed pails, Buster and Blue lazily flicking their tails, and slinky cats prowling the hay. His breathing came ragged. His chest puffed. He bent at the knees, shoved his hands under the bulk of shorn fleece, slowly aligned his spine, turned toward Ginny, and lost sensation in his arms. He dropped the pile, scattering barn dust and errant wool strands.

She stood idle. The sunshine pouring through the slats on the barn’s east side outlined her silhouette. The soft hollow in her neck swelled and emptied. A clothesline, bare for the warped wooden pins straddling it, swayed between its oak tree moorings behind her. She lifted the tray, set Joseph’s glass on it, and held her hand for his drink.

“I’ll wash your shirt. Sorry I spoiled it.” She leveled her gaze to his.

He turned the glass in his hand. A single mint leaf stuck to the bottom. He fished it out with a finger and rolled the bumpy foliage in his palm, releasing its scent. He rubbed the leaf on his wrist and opened his mouth. He bit into the sprig, savored the fresh prickly taste, and swished it around his gums and teeth. He swallowed.


Carol Nickles is the sixth generation of a German textile aficionado family. In 1881, her great-great-great-grandfather founded Yale Woolen Mill—the longest-lasting of Michigan’s once twenty-nine woolen mills. Carol earned a Master’s degree in Historic Clothing & Textiles at Michigan State University. Her thesis is a narrative of the Yale Woolen Mill. She held faculty positions at both Utah and Michigan State universities. She lives in West Michigan and enjoys spinning a tale, weaving a story, and threading a luring hook.


Carol Nickles will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


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Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon! And, thanks to Carol Nickles for sharing her book with us today.

Nancy

Friday, June 17, 2022

FOR BETTER AND FOR WORSE by Author Quint Emm Ellis **Blurb Blitz**


Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we're featuring For Better & For Worse by Author Quint Emm Ellis. You can find all of the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter draw for your chance to win a gift card. The entry form is at the end of this post.
These ex-lovebirds are busy building a nest for one. But can she be convinced to make room for him, too?

Despite attending the same congregation and university, Ashe and Stephen's circles had never seemed to cross.

One class project changed everything...for the better; until secrecy and youthful indiscretion pulled them apart.

Will an unexpectant reunion in their adult years allow Ashe and Stephen to rewrite a history riddled with regret and heartbreaking choices?

Pre-Order on Amazon

“I have a feeling you’d prefer if I don’t ask what that was all about back there?”

Ashe watched Sarai from beneath her lids while Sarai sat beside her with phone in hand, adjusting the playlist she’d compiled for the event. Apparently, what Sarai so desperately needed help with was determining a more perfect selection of songs.

Following their departure from Josiah, Sarai had enthusiastically introduced Ashe to Josiah’s mother and father-in-law. Now, the two friends sat at one of the outdoor tables that’d been set up with the speakers atop it, their backs to the rest of the gathering.

Sarai sighed and continued swiping on her phone.

“That would be preferable, yes.”

She paused, then. And looked over to Ashe. “Unless I can ask you the same?”

A claim of ignorance of what Sarai was referring to formed upon Ashe’s lips, but then she shut her mouth; too tired to continue weaving that web. “Ditto,” she finally admitted.

They sat in silence while Sarai played excerpts of one song after another, their postures relaxing in one another’s presence.

As Ashe watched Sarai tsk-tsk over her playlist she allowed her memories to wander to an era that felt closer than it was.

His hair is still the same shade of midnight, not a gray strand to be found, she thought. The short cut looks good on him. Everything looks good on him.

Ashe shut her eyes as she quietly, slowly took in a steadying breath.


"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison

Quint Emm Ellis enjoys penning plots centering around unabashedly nerdy, introverted, cinnamon-roll mantic, passionate, fallible women who happen to be black, who happen to be Christian, and who happen to love an uplifting and, possibly, inspirational story.

She enjoys listening to audio books, watching movies, finding great deals and spoiling her cat and dog rotten. Her dream is to be able to walk around in loose pajama pants all day and geek out while mastering niche crafts like music production, film editing and electro etching.


Quint Emm Ellis will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please be sure to come back soon for more authors, books, and giveaways!

Nancy







Monday, June 13, 2022

LOVE IS FOR THE DOGS by Author Annee Jones **Book Birthday** **Last Chance Beach Romance**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we welcome Author Annee Jones and her new book, Love is For the Dogs, part of the Last Chance Beach Romance multi-author series.

A coveted award…a missing Maltese…and a cheating ex… Can Trisha Campbell survive this year’s dog show competition in Last Chance Beach, much less walk away without a broken heart?

If there’s one thing vet tech Trisha Campbell knows, it’s dogs. Men, however, not so much. Especially ever since catching her ex-boyfriend, Miami P.D. Landon Prescott, kissing her arch-nemesis, Blythe Baker, at last year’s dog show after Blythe’s pup Princess took home the grand prize. Needless to say, Trisha's not looking forward to seeing either of them again at this year’s competition in Last Chance Beach, even if her beloved Maltese, Chloe, is a front-runner for the coveted trophy.

Soon after arriving on the island for the week-long event, Princess goes missing and everyone fingers Trisha as the dog-napper since her pooch is Princess’ main opponent. With not only the prize money but also her reputation at stake, Trisha’s willing to join forces with none other than her cheating ex. Can she and Landon figure out a way to work together to catch the culprit and find the missing Maltese before the whole competition goes straight to the dogs? And what happens when they find themselves alone together at last?

Available exclusively on Kindle Unlimited

Find the entire Last Chance Beach series on Amazon

“Woof!” the little dog barked, stopping in front of the tall wooden pillar that stood at the foot of the bridge as they made their way off the ferry onto the island. The dog sat down on its tiny haunches and gazed up, appearing to admire the giant sculpture of an open oyster shell that rested on top of the post. The shell’s lower half contained a giant pearl. Its shiny white surface sparkled with promise in the rays of the afternoon sun.

“Yeah, yeah,” Trisha Campbell muttered, allowing the leash she was gripping tightly in her right hand to slacken as she slowed her pace and paused next to the small Maltese spaniel, drawing her rolling suitcase to a stop behind her. “’Welcome to Last Chance Beach,’” she read aloud from the sign hanging beneath the sculpture. “’Where you’ll discover what you’ve been looking for.’”

“And what we’re looking for is a trophy!” squealed Olivia. The red-haired teen took off her backpack, bursting at the seams and adorned with a variety of colorful charms and ribbons, and set it down beside her. She stretched her long limbs and gazed around, eagerly taking in the first sights of Last Chance Beach.

“Right!” said an identical-looking girl to her left, who unshouldered her own decorative pack. Kneeling, she began to pet the dog’s smooth white coat. “Do you really think Chloe could win Best in Show this year, Trisha?”

Trisha fingered the woven red cord of the leash. “I do think there’s a small chance, Sophia. Now that she’s graduated from the junior age group, Chloe will be competing in the open tournament this year. With the three different shows she’s already won, I’m hopeful that she’ll be able to bring home Best of Breed. However, as for the title of Best in Show, the competition will be extremely fierce, so try not to get your hopes up. I don’t want you to be disappointed in the end.”


Author Annee Jones writes heartwarming romance and will soon be adding cozy mystery, fantasy/ PNR, suspense, and more to her list of genres since her imagination often runs away with her. She is passionate about writing stories that offer readers a place where dreams come true!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Annee also enjoys freelance writing for Publishers Weekly and multiple publishing companies.
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Thank you for joining us today to celebrate the latest book in the Last Chance Beach Romance collection.

Nancy

Monday, June 6, 2022

FELICITY'S FORTUNE by Author Kara O'Neal **New Release**


It's my great pleasure to welcome friend and author, Kara O'Neal, to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we'll be sharing a peek at her latest release, Felicity's Fortune, Book 2 in her Gamblers & Gunslingers series.

A Note From Kara....

I could hardly wait for the second book in my Gamblers and Gunslingers series – FELICITY’S FORTUNE – to release!

When we visited St. Joseph, Missouri, we had to stop at Jesse James’ house. While I was walking through those rooms, I wondered about his wife.

She’d set up a house, cooked meals, raised children…and her husband was an outlaw. She knew what he was, and that surprised me. Of course, who knew how she felt about his choices, and I’m sure it was hard to leave him since she loved him.

But I thought…what if she hadn’t known? What if a woman had married a man who was an outlaw, and she discovered it…

And turned him in.

So…FELICITY’S FORTUNE was born.

I had to give her a mighty hero, and so Butch Wilder grew in my mind’s eye. And he’s a good one. He had to be a little sinful, though, but he’s got a big, big, big heart!

I loved writing this story. Felicity’s daughters are the cutest little things.

I also enjoyed sending Felicity to Hell’s Half Acre, because God bless Texas, but that place was scary. It belonged in a book.

You know, that’s the best thing about being an author. You get to put cool places, events and people in your books.

I hope y’all enjoy Felicity and Butch’s story as much as I did! Happy reading!

Felicity Capwell Archer had no idea she'd married a thief and a killer. And even though she's the one who turns him in, people still think she helped her former husband steal and is now hiding the money. To protect herself from the repercussions and attacks, she hires Butch Wilder. Gambler. Gunslinger. And a giant who hides a heart of gold.

Butch Wilder grew up on the streets of New Orleans, learning how to fight, how to gamble and how to use a Colt .45 with deadly precision. When Felicity begs him to protect her family, she's too damned pretty and too intriguing to turn down. Determined to avoid any emotional attachments and to keep it purely professional, Butch takes the job. But he finds himself sitting down to nice meals, walking her children to school and being part of a family for the first time.

Only by finding and returning the stolen loot can Felicity and her daughters ever truly be safe. Following clues she deciphers from her former husband’s letters, Felicity and Butch travel to the outlaw-infested Hell's Half Acre. It's madness, but Butch will do anything to protect Felicity. Even if it means his life.

Available exclusively on Kindle Unlimited


When Butch reached Rickman’s office, he tried to see through the windows to the inside, but the grimy panes allowed for nothing. Cautious but unafraid, he walked in without hesitation.

But when he found who had come calling, he about swallowed his tongue. He stopped short, his hand on the knob, his mind devoid of all thought.

“Are you Mr. Wilder?”

Her honey voice poured through him, grabbing hold of his senses.

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry to interrupt your work, sir, but I’m looking for Mr. Butch Wilder. Are you he?”

Snap out of it, man! Butch blinked then cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah. Yes. I’m Butch Wilder.” He shut the door.

She looked him over.

He steeled himself against the fear he might see in her eyes due to his size, but when her gaze touched his face, what he found was desperation. Confused and a little nervous, he wrapped his thumbs around his suspenders.

“Do you know who I am?”

Would it upset her if he did? But he couldn’t lie to her. Somehow she’d know if he did. “Yes.”

She twitched her lips as if frustrated by her infamy. He couldn’t blame her.

After letting out a slow exhale, she said, “My home, and by that I really refer to my children, my housekeeper and myself, has been under attack since my former husband was arrested and tried.”

So…she had gotten divorced. Or was it an annulment? He stayed quiet, not knowing what she wanted or if he was allowed to respond.

“We need constant protection until this is settled.” She waved a hand in the air. “Until either the…the hanging or…” She paused, and her gaze went distant.

He narrowed his eyes slightly. What bothered her? The event she hadn’t mentioned or the hanging?

She shook her head. “I apologize. The last weeks have been rather harrowing.”

He could imagine. From the arrest, to the trial, to now…

A portion of what she’d said registered in his mind. “I’m sorry, ma’am. But why are you here? You mentioned…protection?” Hell. Was she going to ask him to…

“Yes. The sheriff’s office can’t provide anyone, so he suggested I hire you.”

Butch’s mind whirled with the implications.

“I will pay you well, plus meals, because I would prefer it if you moved into my home. People come at all times of the day and night. I’m fearful of what has occurred in my absence for the last few hours.” She pressed two fingers to her temple and rubbed. “Not that I can do anything about it,” she muttered. She let out a weary exhale.

While she struggled with exhaustion, he tried to make sense of what she was offering. It was ridiculous. Him? Butch Wilder? Protect her? And her family?

Hell. That was damned laughable.


5 Stars!

This second book in Kara O'Neal's Gamblers & Gunslingers series was even better than the first book. And, that's saying something since the first, Katie's Gamble, was so delightful.

I'm a sucker for western historical romance. Add in a gruff, slightly imperfect hero, children, and a touch of suspense, and I'm hooked.

Kara O'Neal has created another strong heroine who is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect those she loves, even if that means seeking the help of a stranger to guard her two daughters, her housekeeper, and herself. Butch, the somewhat reluctant hero, does what every good hero does, he steps up and puts his life on the line to assure the safety of his charges.

The scenes with the rough-around-edges gambler/gunslinger, Butch, and Felicity's young daughters were absolutely adorable. The slow-burn development of the relationship between Felicity and Butch are what all good romances are made of, guaranteeing the reader what we all want... the happily-ever-after.


Award-winning author, Kara O’Neal is a teacher and lives in Texas with her husband and three children She write stories with strong family ties, lots of romance and guaranteed happy endings!


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Thanks to Kara for stopping by, and for the readers who've come to enjoy a look at her book. Come back soon for more great authors, good books, and maybe even a giveaway or two!

Nancy